A distinction is made between companies and marketed products by using logos and brands. If you want to sell a specific product or service within a sales market, you must apply it. It largely forms the consumer’s recognition of products from a particular company with a certain level of quality. What does trademark law entail, how does it protect against trademark abuse and how can one obtain it?
- Distinguish logos and brands
- Thinking of the correct sign
- Intellectual property law
- Benelux Office for Intellectual Property Law (BOIP)
- Only protection not a watchdog
- Creation of damage due to trademark misuse
- Taking action against trademark infringement
Distinguish logos and brands
Companies do business under a certain logo. It is a sign in which word and image are often forged together into a striking but distinctive feature. It is used on paperwork as a means of communication and acts as a means of identification. In addition, the company markets a number of products with the aim of turning a profit. These products each have their own sign, which is called the brand. Brands may not resemble other products already introduced on the market. There must always be sufficient distinctiveness to be able to market a particular product. To this end, a company would be wise to protect products in accordance with copyright law.
Thinking of the correct sign
When you, as a starter or SME company, come to the market with a new product, you should think carefully about what it looks like. It may not resemble brands already operating on the market. One must come up with an original sign or shape that makes the product striking enough for the customer. To this end, a design must be compared with the already registered product signs to ensure sufficient distinctiveness.
Intellectual property law
Every creator of a work created in private or as an entrepreneur transfers the intellectual property to that work. This means that the copyright to the piece has been acquired. You decide for yourself what happens to it. Will it be multiplied and who is allowed to do so are important questions. If something is invented, such as a trademark, within the business market, it must be registered. People want to make profits by using a sign without allowing others to use the idea. Protection is obtained through registration! How is intellectual property law established in this case?
Benelux Office for Intellectual Property Law (BOIP)
Logos and brands with sufficient distinctive character can be registered with the BOIP. In other words, the sign used may not resemble older registrations too much. In addition, it must not be offensive and it must not disrupt public order. If this is met, it can be deposited with the BOIP. If the principles of the sign are approved, it will be registered from that date. Competitors who enter the market after that date with similar signs can be stopped or agreements can be made among themselves.
Only protection not a watchdog
The BOIP gives registered entrepreneurs a lot of protection, because they are the first to register the sign. Yet they are not the watchdog to see if a sign is violated. Companies themselves must be alert to this. In other words, if a violator is discovered on the shelves or online, the company must respond by taking legal action.
Creation of damage due to trademark misuse
If a competitor enters the market with a similar brand, which may or may not be product related, the oldest registration may be damaged. This then constitutes brand abuse. This is because:
- market share is stolen by the violating party;
- the new product associated with the comparable sign is of inferior quality and therefore has negative effects on the turnover of the old registration;
- consumers are, as it were, misled.
Naturally, the causal link between the new product introduction and the damage must be demonstrated in order to be able to respond adequately legally.
Taking action against trademark infringement
If a violation has been identified and the causal link can be demonstrated, steps can be taken. Think of:
- mediation between the two: an attempt is made to reach an arrangement so that both parties become better and stronger;
- legal action to withdraw the product from the market. In addition to the ban, financial compensation can also be demanded for the profits achieved.
In both cases, it is always necessary to obtain sufficient legal knowledge to respond adequately to the infringing party, so that the company’s trademark rights are respected.
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- What is intellectual property and how do you get exclusive rights?
- How can you apply for copyright?